Our Fan’s View Series continues as Gerry Johnston interviews Malaga fan, @pena_int_mcf’s Mercy Chapman, who is a former football reporter with the Costa del Sol News.
Malaga finished 11th in La Liga last season. Were you happy with that or do you think they could have done better?
After the kind of results that the team was achieving, finishing 11th was better than expected and I would imagine most fans were as happy with a middle of the table position as I was. With the situation as it was I doubt that they could have done better.
Malaga have been struggling financially over the last few years. How are things off the park now?
Málaga’s financial situation is, as far as we are led to believe, stable and in the last few years the club is more self-sufficient than it has been. However there seems to be a never-ending black hole that prevents the club spending money.
This will be Michel’s first full season in charge of the club. What are your thoughts on him?
Michel did well to bring around the team and get the mid-table placing. This season, however, he will have a practically new squad that he will have to mould into a cohesive unit.
Malaga have made a few signings but the biggest transfer news this summer has been the exits of Sandro Ramirez and Ignacio Camacho. What are your views on the transfer business so far?
Few of the modest clubs manage to hang on to their talent, even less so when the club appears to be going nowhere. However, Málaga should be able to bring in some new talent so that these players can perform in Spain’s top league and showcase their skills. And so the cycle continues.
Are there any areas in the squad that you think need to be improved on this summer? Has anyone been linked to fill those positions?
Definitely. After last season’s performance the club needs to address weaknesses in defence, shore up the midfield and get a couple of front men who can put the ball in the net. Málaga have signed Roberto previously from Espanyol, Cenk Gonen from Turkish club Galatassaray and third reserve keeper Andrés Prieto, also from Espanyol. With Camacho and Pablo Fornals out of the picture now, Málaga needs to fill in those vacancies but will more than likely use the midfield players already in the squad, though Adrian who played for Eibar, and more recently Emmanuel Cecchini from Club Atlético Banfield in Argentina have been signed up. En-Nesyri has been promoted from Atlético Malagueño and Borja is on loan from Swansea. It’s also possible that a couple of Atlético Malagueño’s forwards may be brought up when necessary.
If you were allowed to make one realistic signing for the club who would you bring in?
I don’t think that there is any one realistic signing that the club could bring in at this time. Perhaps during the winter market Málaga might be more attractive for talent to consider making the change, especially if the Blue and Whites are doing well. I personally would like a player who can score goals, someone who is unknown but who would fit in with Málaga’s existing squad.
Is there anyone in the squad that you are concerned might be tempted to move away from Malaga?
Obviously Pablo Fornals was tempted away, but now this close to the start of the new season, I think the club is going to want to keep most of its squad intact; although there are a couple of footballers for whom Málaga have been trying to find a new home.
What are the club’s plans this summer? Do they have any tours or training camps planned?
Málaga have been in Holland and have taken part in some summer friendlies, all of which were lost – not a good omen for the coming season. Now back on home turf Málaga will face Lazio in the Costa del Sol Trophy on Saturday 5th August followed by a friendly with Granada on the 8th. On Friday 11th August, Málaga will fight to retain the Ramon de Carranza Trophy against Villarreal.
Are there any youngsters at the club who you think could make the breakthrough into the first team this season?
Well En-Nesyri obviously has, but Mula is another possibility.
What are Malaga’s targets for next season?
Málaga would like to secure its position in La Liga before considering going into Europe, which is the hope of all Primera clubs.